Hiring Tips

Top 5 Austin, Texas Experiences in December 2018 and January 2019

Things to do in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a great place to live for many reasons. Besides the Tex-Mex and live music, Austin also offers many unique and fun events for its residents and visitors to enjoy.

Now that the weather has turned to non-sweltering temperatures in central Texas, you will want to get outdoors and experience all that Austin has to offer!

Below we have listed the Top 5 Austin Experiences in December and January!

1. The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Road, 12/10/18-12/23/18)

This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the infamous Trail of Lights in Zilker Park! There you will find dazzling holiday lights to walk through with your family and friends, along with yummy food vendors selling everything from hot chocolate to tamales! You can spin yourself into a dizzy stupor under the Zilker Christmas Tree located at the entrance and pictured below or just take numerous selfies with all the holiday characters you will find there!

Things to do in Austin, Texas

2. The Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs (2201 Barton Springs Road, 1/1/19)

Barton Springs is a perfect 68°-70°F year-round that is refreshing on a hot summer day and cozy on those frigid winter mornings, but that doesn’t make jumping in on New Year’s Day any less impressive! Join other Austinites as they start their 2017 off shivering from the magical waters of Barton Springs. Be ready to warm up with free coffee and donuts right outside the gate after you take your plunge!

3. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (900 Barton Springs Road) and the Blue Genie Art Bazaar (6100 Airport Blvd) (11/24/18-12/24/18)

We admit it, we cheated a little on this one because it’s two events…but you can’t mention one without including the other! It is the ultimate holiday shopping experience that is quintessentially Austin. At the Blue Genie Art Bazaar shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar also features local award-winning artists along with with live music and two full bars making it the ultimate shopping experience.

4. Free Week (Various locations, 1/1/19-1/8/19)

The first week of January might be the best time for a music fan to visit Austin. Why? Hundreds of Austin bands participate in this annual FREE event that encompasses multiple venues all over Austin. Plan to be out and about to take part in a music tradition that showcases why Austin is just so darn great!

5. Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods (525 N Lamar Blvd, 11/27/18 – 1/7/19)

Just because you live in central Texas doesn’t mean you don’t need to brush up on those ice skating skills! Spend an afternoon on the ice rink at the Whole Foods flagship store on North Lamar. Then head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends! You can also plan to eat a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the pop-up restaurants in the store and enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer at the sit-down tasting bars. The PERFECT date night!

2019 is going to be another GREAT year to live in Austin, Texas…but 2018 isn’t over yet! Get out there and enjoy all this city has to offer!

Posted in Career Advice, Featured Jobs, Hiring Tips, Management Advice |

Top 5 Skills Needed to be an Apartment Manager

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The apartment industry is booming and choosing a career in multi-family housing promises both job and financial stability. Not to mention it is one of the best professional communities in the country! Many people start as a leasing or maintenance professional, however management is usually the goal. Being a manager in the apartment industry takes a combination of very specific skills to be successful. Below we have listed the top 5 skills needed to be an efficient and admired apartment manager.

1. Ability to Communicate with Various Employees

Unlike most management positions where you are instructing and overseeing a certain type of profession, apartment managers must communicate efficiently with many different types of people in their day-to-day. A typical week entails communicating with tenants regarding apartment complex rules, due dates, repairs and rent collection. It also involves assigning and overseeing the work of apartment staff, such as janitors, plumbers, electricians and receptionists. Often, an apartment manager must also hire outside workers to perform tasks for the complex, such as contractors to make structural repairs and improvements, landscapers to care for the grounds, or staffing companies to help find employees.

2. Continued Education

One of the most attractive aspects of the apartment industry is that it does not turn away non-degree holders. This means that you can expect to have a successful career and climb the ladder without ever attending college. This does not mean education is not valued, programs such as YARDI and other apartment-related software must be mastered to be a successful manager. There are also multiple certifications that one can achieve within the industry. Luckily, your local Apartment Association offers educational classes in all the subjects that matter in the industry.

3. Experience in the Industry

The apartment industry rewards those that stick around. You can expect to become a manager in two to five years if you make your goals clear to your management and take advantage of all the continued education you are offered through your property and Apartment Association. Smaller properties are much more likely to hire or promote a manager who has no management experience, while a larger property looks for prior management roles. In general, apartment owners seek managers with experience and knowledge of landlord-tenant laws, bookkeeping, rental deposits, leases and rental collections.

4. Accounting

Accounting is a skill that you will learn naturally working in the apartment industry. The level of accounting becomes higher when you enter management, often having to report earnings and losses to apartment owners. If your goal is to go into management, you would do well to take an adult education class at your local community college in accounting to gain an edge.

5. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important skill within any management role, but especially in the apartment industry. There are constantly issues popping up that need to be taken care of immediately, from maintenance issues to resident complaints. There is also the task of having to keep your employees happy and engaged to avoid turnover. Effective apartment managers know that they must have contingency plans for all situations. Outsourcing is a fantastic way to keep up with it all, from hiring needs to complex maintenance issues. Keeping a flexible attitude is a must.

Being in management in the apartment industry can be extremely rewarding. Apartment managers are among the best people in the world because they know that above all, people are the most important aspect of their job.

Posted in Career Advice, Hiring Tips, Management Advice | Tagged |

Top 5 Hiring Trends in 2016

2016 Hiring Trends
Like many job seekers, you are probably looking forward to 2016 and curious how you can make sure to take advantage of all the hiring trends set to take place. This year is going to be full of changes that work FOR the job seeker, as companies scramble to improve their offices and culture. Read on to see what you should concentrate on in 2016 when looking to find your ideal job.
1. Work on Your Skills!

Companies have learned that a skilled employee is much more valuable than a employee with a degree that lacks experience. While this is bad news for all those Millennials with massive student loan debt, this is great news for those that went into the work force immediately and now has years of experience under their belt.

If you are lacking real-life work experience, register with a industry-specific staffing company that can help you get placed in temporary positions that can build your resume and put you in front of hiring managers. If you are already employed, ask to be cross-trained for a position that interests you. There are many ways to gain attractive experience without going into student loan debt.

2. Talent Communities are Where the Jobs Are

Job posting spam is out of control these days on major job search websites such as Monster, Indeed, and Craig’s List. Job searchers are frustrated by having to sift through undesirable job postings and hiring managers are increasingly disappointed with the quality of candidates they get when they post on massive websites.

The new hiring trend for 2016 are talent communities. Talent communities are websites that bring together specific industries or job titles such as managers, marketers, and blue collar workers. A great example is the National Apartment Association’s Public Communities page. There you will find communities for CAM (Certifies Apartment Managers), CAMT (Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians), and many more.

Find your industry’s talent community online and join the discussion!
3. Obamacare Is Coming, Full-Time Employees Beware

2016 is the year that Obamacare takes full effect, which means many companies will be laying off full-time employees in exchange for contract workers to avoid the hefty healthcare requirements. According to Forbes.com, in 2016 95% of companies with 100 or more employees will need to be insured, and companies with 50 to 99 employees will have to insure full-time workers. Blue Cross of North Carolina, for example, has already raised their rates by 35%. This means a switch to contract workers, or freelancers, will be a more prevalent hiring trend.

4. Telecommuting Is On the Rise

Offices are getting smaller as companies realize that the virtual work space can save them big bucks. Millennials, the largest group of workers today, have voiced that they prefer a flexible working environment and companies have taken that to heart. Coupled with a move towards contract workers, companies are set to remove geographic barriers to their hiring pool. The trend in 2016 will be to allow employees to work remotely, meaning the job searcher is no longer limited to open positions in their city.

5. Company Branding Is a Must

2016 looks to be the year that job searchers are catered to more than the hiring managers. Companies such as Amazon and Netflix have lead the way in branding their corporate culture in a desirable fashion, earning them a talent pool that is knocking at their door to be a part of what they have created. You will see many companies across multiple industries offering redesigned offices, tuition reimbursement, better maternity and paternity leave, and flexible schedules. You will also see companies getting more involved in charitable causes as the younger generation takes over management roles that the baby boomers are leaving vacant in exchange for retirement.

The job seeker in 2016 will make sure to highlight their volunteer experience and ask about the company’s culture and what makes it different from its competitors.

There you have it! This year will be a very exciting year for employment. Make sure to get yourself in line with what the 2016 hiring trends are and snag yourself a position with a company you will love working for.

Posted in Career Advice, Career Blog Categories, Hiring Tips | Tagged |

Why Apartment Community Directors Deserve TOP Pay!

Apartment Community Directors are the backbone of any meritorious leasing community. They function as employee managers, community representatives, resident relations liaisons, and countless other roles that keep a property running smoothly. In a nutshell, The Community Director is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the efficient day-to-day operations of an apartment community.

apartment job salary

It’s easy to see why ensuring they are compensated correctly can be an important issue. The last thing a company wants is to have their “go-to” person feeling under-appreciated and under-paid. However, funds for higher salaries are not always available when you need to justify paying higher wages to a board of directors.

When considering what pay you will offer your Community Director, first consider the duties you want them to be responsible for. Below is a general list of Apartment Community Director functions:

*Inspects community daily to ensure aesthetic appeal.

*Reviews service requests daily to ensure timely completion and follow up.

*Directs and oversees all activities and responsibilities of community staff.

*Manages staff to include recruiting, training, counseling, motivation, evaluation, and termination.

*Prepares or supervises the timely and accurate preparation of all required reports and forms including weekly activity report, daily bank deposits, monthly collection reports and summary, delinquency reports, accounts payable, statement of deposit accounts, personnel forms, incident reports, monthly market surveys, and monthly owners packages.

*Prepares payroll reporting, verifies accuracy and approves all community associates’ timesheets.

*Review financial statements on a monthly basis with Regional Manager and makes general ledger corrections.

*Communicates effectively and on a regular basis with Regional Manager to update him/her on the community.

*Ensures clean records are maintained on the community by company policies.

*Must stay informed and comply with all policies and procedures as outlined in the Operations Manual.

*Conducts annual inspection of all apartments.

*Adheres to company guidelines for effectively purchasing supplies, maintaining expenses within budget and obtaining bids on appropriate community projects.

*Reviews, ensures accuracy and receipt of supplies and approves all invoices for payment.

*Ensures that the Safety Program is implemented by all staff members.

*Ensures that all community staff members adhere to company key policies.

*Maintains working knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations concerning apartment leasing and management, i.e. fair housing, collections, evictions, towing and pool enclosures.

*Coordinates and participates in resident functions.

*Prepares community newsletter and blog content.

Now, combine all of the above with the fact that they also must be available for evening, weekend, holiday, overnight work, AND be personable to residents and courteous to the staff. You are talking about a leasing property super-hero here!

Besides the expectations placed on the Community Director, there is also the training involved in getting the Director up-to-speed on what needs to be done. It is extensive to say the least. Another reason to make sure the salary you are offering will help keep the Director in their chosen role.

Many times with high-level hires, such as a Community Director, it is smart to use an experienced staffing company. The staffing consultant will fight for the salary of the position because they know what it takes to find a candidate that fits the unique and extensive skill set needed to be a successful Apartment Community Director.

When setting out to hire or maintain your Community Director, keep in mind the things you are expecting from them and make sure the salary reflects that. You will thank yourself in the long run.

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How To Avoid Employee Turnover in the Apartment Industry in 5 Easy Steps

Employee retention is without a doubt one of the most intense challenges facing most hiring managers in apartment communities across the board. There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to find that perfect candidate, train them, then lose them and have to start from scratch.

While it is impossible to wipe completely out this part of doing business, aside from creating leasing consultant robots, there are ways to take preventative measures to ensure your employee turnover is as low as possible.

1. Keep Your Employees Busy

Many managers are satisfied when employees complete their tasks efficiently and on time and do not ask more of their staff when things are running smoothly. While this may seem like a benefit to the employees, this can actually backfire.

People need to feel productive in their work. If the job itself does not occupy all their time on the clock, the downtime can leave employees feeling useless and not challenged.

Make it a point to have side projects going on and involve your staff so they always have something to contribute to. You can reward activities such as working in a resident garden, writing articles for a resident newsletter, and logging time in the property gym. All of these on-the-clock activities can contribute to your staff’s mental and physical well-being. A happy employee does not usually leave their job!

2. Prepare Your Employees for the Rhythms of the Year

Any seasoned apartment industry professional knows that there are certain times of the year that are busier than others. When bringing on a new team member, it is important to prepare them for that upfront.

People can get through most anything if they have a deadline to look forward to. Deadlines will prevent new-hires from getting overwhelmed and feeling like they are not doing a good job, which is a major motivator to quit.

This also applies to your current employees. Make sure they are taken care of during the busiest of times by checking in with them often and offering praise. Let them know that you know this is a stressful time and that they are doing a great job.

On the flip-side, make sure there are things to occupy their time during the slow season, such as the things mentioned above. Don’t let boredom cause your employees sights to start straying to new opportunities.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fire Employees That Are a Bad Fit


Many managers put off firing employees that they know are not a good fit for the company. There are many reasons for this, including trying to control turnover.

This can be very harmful to your property’s culture and make good employees decide they don’t want to put up with an incompetent co-worker. By not letting one bad apple go, you risk losing the whole tree. Make sure the environment your staff works in is free of stress from bad hires.

4. Offer Flexibility

Flexibility is high priority with Millennials, which comprise the largest sector of today’s workforce. In some cases, employees would sacrifice a pay raise to have the opportunity to work remotely for a couple days of the week. Think about what jobs can be done from home within your apartment community. Maybe you can offer longer shifts if the employee would like only to work four days a week. You can find many ways to get creative with scheduling and save yourself time and money when it comes to employee happiness and reducing employee turnover.

5. Get Hiring Help

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In rare circumstances, an apartment community has a dedicated HR manager who’s only job is to hire and maintain an apartment community’s staff.

In most cases, however, the hiring manager is wearing multiple hats and can find it overwhelming to do their core job and while sifting through hundreds of job applicants. By the time they get to interviews, they are desperate to fill the open position and can look over red flags they might not have if they had more time to focus on hiring that perfect employee.

In these cases, it is hugely beneficial to work with a staffing company that specializes in the apartment industry. It’s their business to place their candidates in a position that they are going to thrive. They want your return business after all!

If the new hire does not work out, the staffing company will work to replace them and make it right. The investment can be well worth it to not only find your perfect new team member but have the insurance that you won’t be starting from scratch if they don’t work out.

Reducing employee turnover does not have to be rocket science, it’s an achievable goal that will result in both your’s and your staff’s happiness in the workplace.

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